We’ve seen the teams that are Buyers & Sellers, but who will be available, who are the Buyers going after, and where will they end their season?  Who are the Sellers selling and where could they go?  I’m going to be a little controversial with some of these predictions, but I’ll try to call the events before they happen.  This is going to be MLB player horseshoes, let’s see how close I can get and see how many NL ringers I nail:
Atlanta BravesBuyers (Needs: SP/SS)
    The Braves have been going after Dempster hardcore and will have to put in a sweet deal to pull him out of the clutches of LA.  If they get him, that gives them a huge leg up in the East and they might have enough pitching to mix with their offense to overtake the Nats.  The Braves can wait to get Simmons back, but if not they can try to go after Stephen Drew and they’ll be one of the best all-around team in the NL and you might see them redeeming themselves from last year’s collapse.(Final Verdict: they deal whoever to get Dempster.)
Miami Marlins: Sellers
    As I said last week, “They HAVE to buy.”  The only problem is, they’re not good enough to buy and be significant.  They really need to sell.  They have some good pieces that they could send away for some good youth.  I’m not sold on them giving up yet, but they really ought to.  If they don’t, though, I truly believe that they have to find someone to slam a door in the ninth.  I love Heath Bell, but this isn’t his year.  Chicago is cleaning house and Marmol is a guy they would like.  I don’t think he’s the answer, though.  I think the Fish need to go pull Capps or Balfour, if Beane will let him go, and give up a bat.  (Final Verdict: they end up selling on the season and give up one of their SP, Omar Infante & Austin Kearns for the right deal.)
New York Mets: Buyers/Sellers (Needs: RP)
    With Gee and Santana going down, and they can’t throw Dickey every second day, you would think that the rotation would be the problem for the Mets…it’s still their bullpen, though.  They can score runs and they can get 5-7 innings most everyday from their rotation (I don’t know how long that can last with SPs dropping like flies), but they can’t shut the door with their RPs.  If they want to stay in the race, they have to get a closer.  With Broxton, Capps and League available, the Mets should try to purchase one of them.  They may need to go grab another SP while they’re at it.  It may get interesting pretty quick in NY if they don’t.  (Final Verdict: after this week, when they lose 66% of their games, they’ll know it’s time to sell and the fairy tale will be over.  They’ll sell off some pieces then.)
Philadelphia Phillies: Buyers (Needs: RP & 3B/LF)
    They still believe they’re going to be contenders by mid-August.  If they get another solid arm in the bullpen, similar to what they had with Madson, and get a bat to bring production in the place of Polanco or Pierre then they might be there.  Of course, Howard has to get above the Mendoza line and Utley has to be hot and Pence has to protect all of them, but if that happens, they could be.  That’s just too many things that have to happen for them to be there.  I say that they make a trade and hang around & are still making it interesting around Sept. 25.  (Final Verdict: they trade for Chase Headley to take over at 3B.  If not, get a Chris Denorfia, Will Venable or Soriano and pick up a Matt Lindstrom, Brandon Lyon or League.)
Washington Nationals: Buyers (Needs: MIF)
    With Chien-Ming Wang coming back soon, the rotation is set.  The bullpen looks good also, but they’re biggest problem now is depth at MIF & CF.  Neither Morse or Harper are CF & Werth, whose coming back soon, hasn’t played CF in years. With Ian Desmond going down, they move Danny Espinosa to SS and Lombardozzi to 2B which is good for now.  I still think they need a lead-off hitter.  Dozzi does nice, but they need a table-setter.  There are a few CF that can do that, but where do you put Morse, because you have to have his bat?  Then there’s Eric Young Jr. who plays 2B & OF…hmm?  (Final Verdict: trade for Span & Casilla or go get Yuniesky Betancourt or EY Jr.)
Chicago Cubs: Sellers
   The firesale has already begun.  Theo is looking to bring Christmas early to plenty of teams in need.  He is a shrewd negotiator and knows what he wants to build his franchise, but he doesn’t have a lot of sexy players to deal away.  He’ll get some good pieces for Dempster & Garza.  He’ll get something good for Soriano, but he won’t get prime players or major pieces for LaHair, DeJesus or Soto.  I think if Theo deals all of these guys, though, he will have a good start on trying to turn the Cubs into what he turned the Red Sox into.  The other key for him to do is signing big name FAs to go with the young players.  (Final Verdict: Dempster, Garza & LaHair will be dealt.  Soriano will be gone if the Cubs eat most of his contract.  Soto will be gone if anybody wants him for next to nothing.  If any other team wants any other Cub…they’ll have them; barring it’s Rizzo or Castro.)
Cincinnati RedsBuyers (Needs: SP)
    I just don’t believe in Arroyo, Bailey & Leake to bring consistency to the back of that rotation.  I believe more in Arroyo than the other two, but they still need another SP if they want to do more than make the playoffs and lose out quickly.  When Bailey is on, he’s good, but when he’s off he displays his name (Homer).  Leake could be really good, but still needs to prove he’s got what it takes.  I can see Cincy go after WandRod, Chris Young (if NYM bows out), Jeff Francis, Jason Marquis or take a gamble with a Bud Norris. I see Norris as another unproven pitcher like Bailey & Leake so I don’t see that.  They might surprise me and go after Garza or Liriano…but there’s a lot they’ll have to give up & Jocketty doesn’t do that.  It all depends on how close to winning the WS they think they can get.  (Final Verdict: Cincy gets a SP, like Marquis or Francis.  They’ll probably surprise me with a Jason Vargas.)
Houston Astros: Sellers
    I don’t think Houston has a firesale like Chicago does, because they have some good young pieces to start around.  They already got rid of El Cabayo & Myers and will probably deal a few others, but they are looking to the future trying to build up their offense & rotation to start playing in the AL West.  They will still deal a few away before the deadline, including possibly WandRod, but they have to have a #1 for the future.  If he goes, they HAVE to get something good for him.  (Final Verdict: Anyone good & under 25 is off limits.  They deal WandRod for two good SP prospects who are about ready to come to the Bigs.)
Milwaukee Brewers: Buyers/Sellers (Needs: SS & RP)
    With Marcum rehabbing and coming back soon, Lucroy should be back to be the primary battery-mate, the Brew Crew still need to find a SS (Drew, Bloomquist, Betancourt or Marco Scutaro) and probably another arm in the bullpen (Broxton or League) if they’re going to stay in the hunt.  This week will be the determining factor.  They are finishing up a series with Philly and start one with Washington.  If they lose more than they win, they start selling.  They have plenty to sell off.  Don’t be surprised if they sell off Grienke, Wolf, Estrada, KRod, Nyjer or maybe even Marcum.  I don’t think they send Gallardo, but if they get a good deal, they do it.  (Final Verdict: if they have to sell, they give up Grienke, Wolf & KRod to reload.)
Pittsburgh Pirates: Buyers (Needs: SS, 1B/COF)
    Andrew McCutchen is the MVP! He’s locked in like Pujols was when he was pushing for the Triple Crown and I would LOVE to see him get it.  He stuck around in Pittsburgh instead of chuking deuces when he could have.  I completely respect him for that and I think he’s having a Divine Reward because of it.  Now, I’ll step off my soapbox and give you my prediction.  The Bucs need offense.  They could use an upgrade at SS and a power-hitting 1B or COF.  Garrett Jones & McGehee have brought solid contributions, but Pitt needs more.  Jones can play some 1B and platoon in the OF if need be, but they should go get Stephen Drew to take over SS.  Pitt needs Morneau or Soriano (which are long shots), but could use Gomes or Willingham for power or gamble on Nate Schierholtz, Venable, LaHair or DeJesus.  (Final Verdict: they stay with Barmes and get a COF with some pop.)
St. Louis Cardinals: Buyers (Needs: SP, RP)
    Carpenter is out for the remainder of the season, Garcia is out for longer than expected and the Cards have big series with Milwaukee (2), Cincy (1) & Pitt (1) left to decide the Central.  They need to get another solid starter and a closer or LHP to go with Scrabble.  Grienke is perfect, but extremely unlikely.  WandRod, Liriano or Garza would be nice, but highly doubtful.  Jeff Francis or Joe Saunders is more likely.  I don’t know if Arizona is ready to call it in yet so Saunders might not be out there for the taking.  Jonathan Sanchez is too much of a project to take at this time of the year.  The Cards could also use a Darren Oliver or League.  (Final Verdict: StL gets a good 3/4 starter who has struggled a little and finds himself in Sept to help the Cards win out and make the playoffs.)
Arizona Diamondbacks: Buyers/Sellers (Needs: CIF, SP)
    I said the Snakes were Sellers last week…now they’re 4 back of 1st and they might not be selling now.  If they decide to stay in the hunt, they need a power-hitting 1B/3B and a SP. I think that LaHair is a guy that could be a power guy at 1B.  I don’t know if they get more offense.  They definitely need a SP and Garza would be good for them to get.  He’s an innings eater, he’s pitched in big games and could help Ian Kennedy push this staff to the playoffs.  I think Grienke will be too expensive for them and they don’t need a 3/4 starter.  Liriano & WandRod would make a good fit there too.  (Final Verdict: they buy and get WandRod to put behind Kennedy.)
Colorado Rockies: Sellers
    The Rockies will deal whoever they can to rebuild.  They’re rotation is bad and they’re bullpen isn’t good.  They’ll deal Jeff Francis and EY2 for some prospects.  If they can find a good 3B and a couple of SP to go with Tulo and CarGo for next season, pick up a couple of FAs then next season, they could be in the mix.  (Final Verdict: they’ll talk up Francis and EY2 to deal for prospects.)
Los Angeles Dodgers: Buyers (Needs: SP, 3B, MIF)
    Magic and his boys are going to have to make a splash soon.  The Dodgers are a game & a half out.  They need a lead-off hitter since Dee Gordon is out for who knows how long, they need a 3B that can produce and a good SP to be able to compete in the playoffs.  It looks like they might come up short on Dempster unless Atlanta won’t give Chicago what they want.  If they do, they need to look at Garza, WandRod, Wolf (again) or Liriano to get them wins and innings.  I don’t think SD would give LA Headley to play 3B for the next few years, but they might get Denorfia from them.  I think Betancourt gives them a 2B/SS option with some pop and they go after KRod, League, Capps or Marmol to sure-up the bullpen.  (Final Verdict: LA gets Garza, KRod later and Betancourt or Casilla to load up.)
San Diego Padres: Sellers
    For such a nice city, they won’t have a winner for a little while.  I do know that SD’s GM is dancing an Irish Jig because Edinson Volquez has been pitching lights out the last 3 outings.  He’s playing the “I don’t know if we want to deal him” game so that he can get big pieces when he ships him out.  I’m just not sure how steady Volquez is mentally.  He gets frustrated and loses it too often.  They’ll also have calls about Headley, Marquis, Quintin, Venable, & definitely Street.  There might be some NL team that steps in to get Street, but most don’t want to give up that many prospects.  It has to be a team that’s deep (LAA).  SD needs to rebuild and have a few players to start doing that, but they need a lot more than what they have right now.  (Final Verdict: they deal Marquis, Venable & Volquez, but only for the right deal.)
San Francisco GiantsBuyers (Needs: RF, 1B, MIF)
    With the rotation and pen sitting them down left & right, the Giants need to put runs on the board a little better.  They could use a better lead-off hitter.  They need someone that plays MIF like a Betancourt for depth.  They could use some pop from RF or 1B to help our Posey and Panda.  I’m thinking maybe a Soriano, Gomes, Willingham, DeJesus or LaHair would do the trick.  They got to do something to take the pressure off of the pitching.  They dealt a lot last year for Beltran, but need to do the same if they want a chance for another WS run.  (Final Verdict: they need to get Betancourt, Soriano & LaHair…they probably don’t & get one player like DeJesus.)
    I don’t know how close I’ll be come August 1st, but this is how I think it should play out.  I guess as the clock ticks down, we’ll start seeing who goes where.  Most of this was based on needs and who should be available.  Soon we’ll see and all the critics can hate on me.  Only a week left…